Tomato Festival 2013 Adelaide Botanic Gardens

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February 24, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson

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When I was little, my dad used to grow the most beautiful, juiciest, “best looking and tasting” tomatoes EVER, TRUE! So I got “spoiled” from a very young age with home grown tomatoes made with TLC too! Are there anything else but tomatoes home grown with TLC? πŸ˜‰

Honestly, before attending the Tomato Festival 2013 (in the 35+ degree heat ) at “our” (am a VERY PROUD South Aussie! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ ) beautiful Adelaide Botanic Gardens venue, my experience with tomatoes (as I described it to one of the growers) was “a long time connoisseur” of my dad’s tomatoes with very fond childhood memories. My dad had a green thumb, but that was not one of the family traits that was passed onto me! πŸ™‚

I do enjoy a juicy, sweet, beautiful tasting tomato. YOU?

So, let’s “pretend” all one knows about tomatoes is we eat them, we cook with them, we enjoy the taste. (or not) Attending yesterday’s “first annual” Tomato Festival was not only FUN and “informative“, but to me, food is the “never ending journey” of knowledge; no matter how inexperienced or experienced one might be, there is always something to learn! And learn I did yesterday!

This year’s Festival is a joint initiative between the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, The Digger’s Club and the Botanic Restaurant. The Digger’s Club was set up in 1978 whose purpose was to “rescue the wonderful old varieties of vegetables“.

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As my friend’s can attest to, I have the “gift of the gab” ESPECIALLY when I am passionate about food! I would like to personally thank Simon of Jupiter Creek Farm for taking the time to explain about the Brix testing; brix is the measure of the sugar content of a liquid. The brix refractometer can measure what percentage of the tomato are made up of sugar aand when the grower knows when the tomato is “ready“. Β While the brix refractometer is the best tool to measure a tomato’s “quality“, there is nothing like first hand experience to tell when a tomato is ready to be picked and sold. I really enjoyed learning something new yesterday, along with how many varieties of tomatoes there are.

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Taste, Texture, Appearance added to the total score of the varieties of tomatoes. I personally really appreciate having the opportunity to experience various varieties I had never previously tasted. While some appealed “visually” to me, the “proof was in the tasting. πŸ˜‰

I did have my favorites; not in any order: Β Tondo Piccolo Ibrido, Jaune Flamme, Rose de Berne (would have LOVED with feta!) and Brown Berry had a “burst of flavour“.

Hungarian Heart and Green Zebraintrigued” me too!

Onto the cooking! πŸ˜‰

I “particularly” enjoyed the WONDERFUL cooking demonstration by Dr. Pietro Demaio. I REALLY and genuinely enjoyed his PASSION of sharing his love of Preserving the Italian Way with his family life story. The cooking demonstration was “very inspiring” as I always have wanted to learn how to “preserve, pickle and make salami too!”

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Due to the heat, the Tomato Tales guided tour was cancelled yesterday, but that didn’t stop this (sometimes 5 year old kid) from obtaining a Tasty Tomato Trail sheet to discover various “semi hidden” tomato signs around the gardens. I “truly” felt like I was like a little kid finding the hidden Easter Eggs!

What a GREAT interactive event that appeals to “kids of all ages” When I found all of the allotted tomatoes, I took my sheet back where I obtained a free pack of seeds as well as filled out a courtesy survey of the event!

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I think you can tell from my smile I “GENUINELY” enjoyed the Tomato Festival. “They say, “time flies when you are having fun!” I arrived at 9:30 am and departed around 4pm; what a GREAT day! IΒ  loved the tomato tastings, cooking demonstration and best of all interacting with the local tomato producers and learning a lot in the process too!

What a beautiful Adelaide Botanic Gardens venue that I would HIGHLY recommend tourists and “locals as tourists in our own town” visit throughout the year! I look forward to next year’s Tomato Festival event too!

I hope I can inspire you to “seek out and explore” various varieties of tomatoes; perhaps growing your own, TRUE!

Have you ever wanted to “Preserve, Pickle and make Salami too?” πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

10 thoughts on “Tomato Festival 2013 Adelaide Botanic Gardens

  1. Pietro says:

    Thank you so much for your passion and enthusiasm.
    Whenever I have the privilege to meet someone with your enjoyment for life , I am inspired to enjoy my time even more .
    Thank you and enjoy the tomatoes
    Pietro Demaio
    I agree with you about the gardens, and about all the wonderful people that allow us to enjoy it.

    • Thank you Pietro for your wonderful words, enthusiasm and “infectious” life passion too!
      I will look forward to seeing you at future cooking demonstrations and updating you on my “preserving and pickling” recipes as “inspired” by you!

  2. peachyvous La says:

    Sounds like an interesting day !!

    ________________________________

  3. Debbwl says:

    What a great festival!
    Sounds fun and would the chance to do it some time.

  4. I’d love to attend a festival like this! I’m absolutely crazy for tomatoes and am busy eating plenty just because I know they’ll be scarce once summer finishes πŸ˜€

    • Thanks Lorraine! Dr. Demaio ( from Melbourne πŸ™‚ ) provides HEAPS of suggestions on what one can do now to Preserve and Pickle so they can enjoy tomatoes the whole year through! πŸ™‚
      Look forward to going to a future Festival or Event with you! πŸ˜‰

  5. Kim says:

    What a great time. As you know, I grow my own as well. Baby yellow pears, green zebras; and several others. I can only imagine what a nice festival that was. Sounds like a wonderful experience. I would of loved to have seen the salami making. Very cool! Glad you had a fantastic time.

    • Thanks Kim! Dr. Demaio made the dish in the photo re sun dried tomatoes; with some prior preparation πŸ™‚ He also included some sun dried tomatoes with anchovy and caper! Was GREAT!
      Re the Salami and Salted Meats… reading starts on pg 165 of his book Preserving The Italian Way (which I purchased) πŸ™‚ He was kind to sign the book with a special message too! πŸ™‚

  6. Pamela says:

    I am drooling! Nothing better than a home grown tomato!

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About me

Joanne T. Ferguson

Passionate Home Cook who tries to inspire one recipe and one event at time!

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